Tips for avoiding scams when buying tickets online

Tips for Avoiding Scams When Buying Tickets Online

Verify the Seller’s Reputation

Before you even think about entering your payment details, it’s crucial to check the credibility of the ticket seller or platform.

  • Look for reviews of the seller on trusted sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or Trustpilot.
  • Check if the seller is a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB), which obligates them to adhere to a strict code of ethics.

Use Secure Payment Methods

When it comes time to pay, the method you choose can be the difference between a secure transaction and a scam.

  • Opt for credit cards due to their fraud protection policies. Avoid wiring money or using cash-transfer apps whenever possible.
  • PayPal is a secure choice as well, as long as you select the option for purchasing goods and services, not the “sending to a friend” option.

Be Cautious with Personal Information

Your personal data is as precious as your money. Be stingy with the information you share.

  • Never provide unnecessary details like your Social Security number.
  • Use a secure, encrypted connection (look for https:// in the URL and a padlock icon).

Check the Event’s Official Venue or Organizer

Sometimes, the safest bet is going straight to the source.

  • Many events sell tickets directly through their venue’s official website or through a designated official seller.
  • For example, Ticketmaster is a well-known and reputable site for buying tickets, and they provide a guide on how to steer clear of fraudulent tickets.

Double-Check Dates, Times, and Seats

Details matter. Scammers often exploit small, overlooked discrepancies.

  • Always verify that the date, time, and seating details on the ticket match the official event’s information.
  • Cross-reference your ticket information with that on the event’s official site to ensure it’s valid.

Be Skeptical of Prices That Are Too Good to Be True

If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

  • Compare the ticket prices you find with those listed on other reputable sites. Extreme discounts can be a red flag for counterfeit tickets.
  • Remember, official ticket prices can fluctuate based on demand, but they rarely drop drastically below face value.

Look Out for Red Flags in Communication

The way a seller communicates can reveal their intentions.

  • Be wary of sellers who are overly aggressive or pushy about a sale.
  • Scammers may avoid providing detailed information or refuse to send additional photos or proof of the ticket’s validity.

Report Suspicious Sellers

Doing your part can help protect others in the future.

  • Report any scams you encounter to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
  • Discuss your experience on forums and with friends to raise awareness about the particular scammer.

Remember, vigilance and a critical eye are your best defenses against online ticket scams. By following these guidelines, you can enhance your security and enjoy the events you love without the worry of being misled or defrauded. Secure transactions, enjoyment of live events, and peace of mind should be part of everyone’s online ticket purchasing experience.